Marathon Florida Keys Weekly Fishing Report – July 29, 2011

Plenty of options despite the unseasonable wind.

Step outside and you’ll notice it’s a tad breezy for July.  A tropical system to the south of our islands is creating 15-knot winds and choppy seas.

Seas are projected to reach 4 to 6 feet beyond the reef, and 1 to 3 feet inside the reef and on the bayside.


On Monday, the commercial lobstermen are permitted to put their gear in the water in preparation for their first pull and the beginning of regular lobster season on August 6.

When this fresh gear is in the water, the ropes are not yet thoroughly soaked and they will float.  Give yourself ample room when navigating around the trap buoys or you may end up with the rope wrapped around your lower unit or props.  Bad for you and bad for the lobstermen.


For those fishing in the next few days, the wind and choppy seas may keep you from heading offshore for dolphin, but there are plenty of inshore options.

We continue our summer pattern of snapper and grouper fishing.  The 75- to 80-foot depths and deeper will provide the best action on the reef, especially for grouper, as they are seeking cooler, more comfortable climes.

Fishing for all variety of snapper on the reef is most productive in the early morning, late evening or at dark of night.  Predominant during the day are yellowtails, while at night the mangroves reign supreme.

The wrecks are loaded with mutton snapper, amberjack and jack crevalle.  I’ve also had reports of kingfish and large cero mackerel.

Mangrove snapper fishing in the bay is a great option on a windy day.  Once you’ve caught dinner, try your hand at catch-and-release shark fishing in the sandy shallows of the bay.

The week’s best catches

My deckhand, Jason Bell, and I continued our summer pattern of hosting families aboard SeaSquared Charters.

Last week we had groups from New Jersey, Georgia, Florida and the UK.  We fished the reef for yellowtail, mangrove and mutton snapper, the bridge for porgy and Florida bay for catch-and-release shark fishing.

Lobster Mini Season

We took Wednesday and Thursday off from charter fishing to do some lobstering.

Click here to read all the reports.  Click on the links for more information and pictures.

Until next week … tight lines!

Capt. Chris and Christy Johnson
SeaSquared Charters
Marathon Florida Keys

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